Canadian internet petition calling to make it illegal to refuse a blood transfusion
Jean-Claude Lavoie, a 26 year old Canadian Jehovah’s Witness, died in December 2006 after refusing a blood transfusion while being treated for an intestinal tumour, the Canadian TQS television network reported.
Former Jehovah’s Witness Jonathan Lavoie, Jean-Claude’s brother, has since launched an internet petition (written in French) calling on the federal government to make it illegal for a person to refuse treatment on religious grounds.
“The Jehovah’s Witnesses refuse blood transfusions for religious reasons,” Jonathan Lavoie writes on the petition’s website. “This creates enormous stress for the family.”
Jonathan maintains that his brother would still be alive if he had received a transfusion.
But Jean-Claude’s father told TQS he is willing to accept his son’s decision: “At the beginning it was anticipated that in his case they would be able to operate without a transfusion, but there were complications. It’s unfortunate, but it came to that. It’s important to respect Jean-Claude’s choice.”